Maranui Cafe

Brunch and ocean views at Wellington's famous surf club cafe

Maranui Cafe, which sits above Maranui Surf Club, is a well-established Wellington favourite for all the best reasons. It has a wide range of consistently delicious food, the most gorgeous views of the ocean, and a space full of colour, life - and large taxidermy fish. What more could you want on a beautiful summers day?


The Coromandel by foot and by bike

There's no better way to soak up The Coromandel 

When you aren’t relaxing at the beach or roaming the gorgeous coastal towns of The Coromandel, the best ways to explore the area are by hiking and biking. Here are our top picks for seeing the most gorgeous spots in The Coromandel – by foot or by bike. 

The Coromandel: Best Beaches

Days are getting longer and warmer... Time to daydream of The Coromandel

This week at Gratia we’re celebrating the best that The Coromandel has to offer, bringing back our own childhood memories of summer and maybe yours, too. It’s unlikely that you’ll have forgotten how gorgeous The Coromandel is if you’ve been there, but if it has faded from your mind a little, here it is: your summery reminder, and our top picks. To everyone who has never visited The Coromandel before – well, then. Here’s something to look forward to: the Best Coromandel Beaches.

Pasta & Cuore restaurant

Made with love and care: This is how pasta should be

In New Zealand, most of us think of pasta as one of the quickest and simplest meals. From plastic packet to boiling water - you've got yourself your lazy weekday dinner. But handmade, fresh Italian pasta is something else entirely - making it is an intricate, tricky process that takes hours to complete; it is also tender, light, and totally satisfying. For a meal that is often devoured in just a few minutes, there's only one reason that you would spend the hours required to make it - because you have love and passion for the art of pasta. Restaurant and fresh pasta maker Pasta e Cuore (pasta and heart, in English), has its foundation firmly grounded in the love of fresh food and pasta.

The Chocolate Boutique, Parnell

Chocolates, desserts, and the most top-secret hot chocolate in Auckland

When Barbara opened a pop-up version of The Chocolate Boutique thirty years ago, it was a tiny space selling only hot drinks and chocolates. It is now a spacious cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, a menu with every sweet treat you might hope to eat, and the perfect place to start the afternoon or end the evening. It has become the local establishment in Parnell for desserts, waffles, a dozen kinds of hot chocolate, and, of course, handmade boutique chocolates.

The Midnight Baker

The new toast-based cafe that's changing the way we think about bread

After going gluten-free, The Midnight Baker owner Yeshe sought a way to continue her love of toast. She realised that the supermarket brands are hugely processed (as well as not hugely tasty), so she started to bake her own bread. After six months of experimenting with recipes, baking way past midnight, she created a bread that she loves, named the Freedom Loaf. It's free of wheat, dairy, eggs, refined sugar, yeast, nuts - and her buckwheat loaf is completely celiac-safe. This is a filling and delicious new take on bread, and the foundation for her month-old cafe, The Midnight Baker. 

The Pinnacles Trail

Photography of one of the most breath-taking hikes in New Zealand

The Pinnacles Trail, also called the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail, sits in the heart of the Coromandel Forest Park. It offers breath-taking views, and is the historic site where Kauri Bushman and their pack-horses ventured during the early 1920s for logging. The track leads to the Pinnacles Hut, where guests can stay overnight, and then to the Pinnacles summit, where glorious views of the Coromandel Peninsula await you. Awaiting you right now - some gorgeous and dramatic photography from a trip to the Pinnacles.

Jump: What to do on a rainy day

Indoor trampolining parks in Auckland and Hamilton

If you're in Auckland, you're probably sick of looking at grey, cloudy skies. Maybe you're thinking, "I guess it's another movie marathon weekend... Again." To change things up and get active, we decided to give Jump indoor trampolining a go. And yes, it's just as fun as it sounds; how often does anyone get to do something where the whole point is to have fun? 

Treble Cone Ski Area: An Experience

How to ski for the first time at 30 and actually enjoy it - at NZ's most challenging ski area

Last year I was roped into doing something I never thought I would try - skiing. As someone who had lived the first 29 years of my life in Mexico, this had been my prior experience with snow: I had never even seen it outside of a screen.

In fact, snow is such an exotic rarity in Mexico that 'nieve', the Spanish word for snow, has now been completely taken over with a new meaning - ice cream. If you hear someone discussing nieve in Mexico City, they're most likely deciding whether they want chocolate or vanilla; not where their next ski holiday should be. With this complete lack of experience, and the strong motivation of not wanting to make a fool of myself, I started to prepare for my trip to Treble Cone. 

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